EmptyFrankie Laine, whose string of hits made him one of the most popular singers of the 1950s, died Feb. 6 of cardiac arrest in San Diego. He was 93.
With such songs as "Mule Train," "That Lucky Old Sun" — both of which hit No. 1 — "That's My Desire," "I Believe," "Shine" and "The Cry of the Wild Goose," Laine was a regular resident of the Top 10 in the late '40s and early '50s, just before rock 'n' roll hit.
Laine sold more than 100 million records and earned more than 20 gold records. He also performed the theme of TV's "Rawhide."
Ian Richardson, who brought Shakespearean depth to his portrayal of a thoroughly immoral politician in the British TV satire "House of Cards," died Feb. 9 in London. He was 72.
In addition to his many stage, screen and TV roles, Richardson also appeared in a mustard commercial as the man in the Rolls-Royce who asked, "Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?"
Richardson played the silkily evil Francis Urquhart in the miniseries "House of Cards" in 1990, "To Play the King" in 1993 and "The Final Cut" in 1995.
Phil Lucas, an Emmy-winning film producer and director who made a career of telling the stories of American Indians, died Feb. 4 in Bellevue, Wash., of complications from heart surgery. He was 65.
In his four decades as a filmmaker, Lucas, a Choctaw, wrote, produced or directed more than 100 feature films, TV series and documentaries in an industry that often stereotyped Indians.
He co-produced and co-directed the PBS series "Images of Indians," about Hollywood stereotypes of American Indians, and directed the 1994 television documentary series "The Native Americans," for which he won an Emmy.
Floyd Levin, a jazz journalist and historian who helped erect a statue of Louis Armstrong in New Orleans, died Jan. 29 of a heart attack at his home in Studio City. He was 84.
Levin's visit to New Orleans in the late 1960s prompted his efforts to honor Armstrong with a monument. "He was on a tour bus, and there was no mention of Louis Armstrong or his contribution to the city," his grandson Marc Levin said. "He, at that moment, decided that was an injustice to Louis Armstrong and started a fundraising campaign on that bus."
Beginning with his first published article in 1949 — on trombonist Edward "Kid" Ory in Melody Maker — and continuing up to his death, Levin wrote hundreds of reviews and profiles that appeared in such publications as Jazz Journal, Metronome and Down Beat. He was the author of "Classic Jazz: A Personal View of the Music and the Musicians."
Rob Maynor, a television publicist who held long-term positions at CBS and NBC, died Feb. 5 in Reseda, Calif. He was 68.
Maynor was a member of the Publicists Guild, the WGA and the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors.
He was the author of the play "Denial" and the books "How to Get $1,000,000 in Free Publicity" and "Money Management for Beginners."
Janie Kleiman, a veteran television production executive, died Dec. 31 at her home in Los Angeles after a 12-year battle with ovarian cancer. She was 50.
Among Kleiman's posts were production executive at Viacom and executive director at Paramount Pictures, handling such properties as "Star Trek: Voyager," "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine."
The last 11 years of Kleiman's career were at 20th Century Fox Television, where she held the post of senior vp production. While at Fox, Kleiman managed properties including "Ally McBeal," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Angel," "Roswell," "The X-Files" and "Chicago Hope."